Thursday, November 29, 2007

Annoying news

On Tuesday, the local FOX news lead their newscast with all the bells and whistles usually reserved for an injured pet or murder. It was the POSSIBILITY of snow in Portland. They had people doing live broadcasts from streets that, if it WERE to snow, would be particularly icy. They interviewed people on the street talking about how icy patches of the road had been that very morning. They did close-ups of the sand used on the streets to increase traction! What they didn't do was show an actual weather report (you had to watch the entire newscast, as weather is on last). Well, yesterday came and went and we didn't get ANY snow... and here I was looking forward to not having to come in to work.

Once more, FOX news has completely disgusted me. (Well, at least they didn't use the potential snow as a venue to claim that global warming isn't happening... they only do that on the national FOX News.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back page eyebrow raiser

In the alternative weekly here in Portland, the back page is the domain of lots of seedy ads for exotic waxing techniques, wanted ads for models for porn shoots, and my favorite this week: "It's almost Hannukah; time for your colonica." Why yes, yes it is. Anyway, it seemed like the most unusual placement for a FedEx want ad seeking "Part Time Package Handlers." I'm thinking that some of the respondents are going to be sadly disappointed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Norway only second-best

In this year's United Nations list of best places to live, Norway fell from its perpetual perch at the top, beaten by its former colony Iceland. Now they're merely number two. The U.S. didn't even make it into the top ten this year, which isn't surprising, what with the growing obesity epidemic and health care system meltdown, chronically underfunded education system, and widening income gap. I guess all those CEO's who got $50 million paychecks lifted the overall average enough, though, to rank us at number 12.

The top five are Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada, and Ireland.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Food coma

Well, Thanksgiving is over and boy what a food orgy it was. We made literally a GALLON of clam dip, four kinds of pies, and two different kinds of stuffing! I'm going to the gym for a 14-hour workout this afternoon.

Also, Thanksgiving marked the date I'd set for myself to start cutting back on drinking so much Diet Pepsi. I think my subconscious is worried, because last night I had a dream that I was at the movie theatre and wanted to order a pop. The clerk said the 44-ounce was $5 and I told him I didn't want that much pop and he said, "Well, the 32-ounce is $23." In case you couldn't tell, I'm not going to go cold turkey, I'm just going to slowly taper off... over the course of 36 to 48 months.

Finally, after all the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, I had to include this newspaper clipping:

Amen! I HATE getting dressed up to go to Wal-Mart, too. That's why I suggest shopping online, where you don't have to get dressed up... or even dressed at all... to go shopping.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh, goodie. The writer's strike is KILLING me!

If you didn't think the tv writers' strike was going to affect you, think again. Now, instead of being presented with hilarious, well-written, inane shows, we'll be assaulted with just plain inane shows. Like most Americans, I like my brain candy, but I prefer to rot my brain to shows that are at least intelligently written, ironic, self-referencing, and witty.

Now thanks to the writers' strike, the tv industry has chosen to respond with the only weapon in their arsenal--frickin' REALITY TV! Reality is what I'm trying to ESCAPE FROM when I want to be a couch potato. Plus, reading descriptions of the upcoming reality shows doesn't give me any reason for hope. Check out a couple of the new shows coming out in January:

Wanna Bet?, where celebrities bet on stunt-performing contestants.
I wonder if Pete Rose is going to be one of the bettors?

Farmer Wants a Wife, helps one farm boy find the city girl of his dreams.
Now if they had a rural Utah version of this show, called "Farmer Wants Another Wife" THAT might be interesting... especially if all the prospective wives were hot. A side benefit is that NONE of the contestants would have to get eliminated... he could marry them ALL!

Crowned: The Mother of all Pageants is a reality competition that features mother-daughter teams working together to win a beauty pageant.
So they're combining the ickiness of the whole Jon-Benet Ramsey thing with unrealistic body issues and premature sexualization. What a combo!

Pussycat Dolls 2: Girlicious
Did this REALLY need a sequel? And what's up with that ridiculous subtitle? Nothing says "I'm an intelligent, well-read, woman like the adjective "girlicious." Shudder.

Moment of Truth is a Columbian import (Columbia has TV?!?) that puts contestants to the test using a polygraph and 21 increasingly personal questions to judge whether they are telling the truth for a chance to win $500,000.
Now we'll finally find out who those criminal bastards are that are cutting off their mattress tags. And thanks to the current Administration, if they don't tell the truth, we can torture waterboard the information out of them.

Baby Borrowers asks five young couples--ages 16 to 19--to set up a home and begin fast-tracking on parenthood by becoming caring parents first to a baby, then a toddler, pre-teen, and grandparents--all over the course of one month.
And at the conclusion, after seeing what they have to look forward to, decide to just play video games for the rest of their lives and forego procreating.

and my personal favorite:
When Women Rule the World a reality show that reveals how women and men react in a world where women are in charge and men are subservient. The participants are brought to a remote location where the women have the opportunity to "rule" as they build a newly formed society-- one with no glass ceiling and no need to dress to impress.
Oh brother! This sounds like "Lord of the Flies" meets "Amazon Women Take Over the World." Plus, it wouldn't surprise me if this show was part of a Republican plan to implant in people's minds that the chaos that will surely happen... it IS a reality show after all... is just a taste of what the entire UNITED STATES would be like if Hilary were elected president.

And there you have it. Seven new reasons to renew your library card.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Honey, where's my Sharpie?

"Mommy, look! I put make-up on the baby! Doesn't he look pretty?"

Public transit adventures, episode 497

Oh my gosh! I'm still having trouble breathing after this morning's commute. I got on the bus and there were a lot of seats in the back, to which I thought, "SCORE!" When I sat down, I instantly realized why all those seats were open... a homeless domestically challenged guy was sitting right next me! As the bus started filling up, the temperature started to rise as did the stench. I had to consiously avoid breathing through my nose, despite knowing that every inhalation filled my lungs with whatever foul emanations were hovering around the guy. Then, to make matters worse, he kept shifting around, spreading the scent. When we got to my stop, I bolted from the bus and tried to exhale as much as possible to get whatever was in my lungs out. Even now, an hour later, I swear I can still smell it in my clothes! I think I might have to run over to the gym for a 45-minute shower and just wear my gym clothes back to work. Uggg!

That experience reminds me of something I wrote on this blog a while back. Here's an excerpt:

The last Harry Potter movie we went to on opening night, we made the mistake of waiting to get in line only ONE hour before the movie started. We ended up sitting two or three rows from the screen, which always makes me sick, and scared my contacts are going to pop out. Anyway, we sit down and decide we can deal with the seats, since it IS opening night and we're kind of rowdy as a group; having fun, etc., when someone sits down in front of me with the absolute WORST B.O. I have EVER SMELLED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE--and I've been to Oklahoma, so that's saying something! It was an unimaginable stench--but if you would like to try imagining a mere HINT of it, try thinking of a leperous hobo that hasn't seen bathwater since his train left Milwaukee back in 1968 AND he has a catfish that he caught just outside of Denver on that same trip in his pocket that he's been saving "for a rainy day" AND the railroad engineer, upon finding him, pushed him off the train into an open cesspool. That should give you a little whiff of what we had to endure. It was so bad that anyone with an outer layer of clothing took it off to breathe through it, and someone found a vial of lavendar essential oil in her purse, which we applied to our upper lips. That odor STILL made it through, but at least it was downgraded to nauseating instead of toxic. The SECOND the credits started rolling, we were climbing over one another in an attempt to leave the theatre. While the others in our group were doing it to flee the putrefaction, I was actually doing it because I'd made the mistake of drinking a large Diet Coke at the start of the movie and my bladder had backed up into my kidneys. Fortunately I escaped the whole ordeal without a bladder infection or a diminished olfactory sense.

At least this time, it was only 15 minutes and not the 2 and half HOURS in a movie theatre!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Best headline.... ever!

You know how Marie Osmond passed out from "allergies" on Dancing with the Stars a couple of weeks back? Yeah, I know... I guess she was taking too many "medications" for those "allergies" and it caught up with her. Well, for whatever reason she lost consciousness, VH-1's show "Best Week Ever" had the best headline introducing their coverage. Their headline was: "Latter Day Faint." PERFECT!

Which reminds me of the Latter Day Faints we stupid missionaries had when making each other pass out in Norway. Talk about something I look back at with complete befuddlement. What could we have been THINKING?!? I guess it was the only way we could kill all those excess brain cells that all post-adolescents have since we couldn't do it with alcohol, drugs, or trash television.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Megasaurus Church

Okay, so Margaret and I were driving through a suburban part of Portland and drove by one of those mega churches that always seem to attract a million people to a minister that ends up involved in a massive embezzlement scheme or sex scandal. You know the kind. Well, anyway, what first caught my eye wasn't the mega building, but the signs in the parking lot:

It's such a big parking lot that they have to mark the areas with books of the Bible! Brother! And how is that such a good idea if you could SWEAR that you parked at the corner of First Galations and Second Timothy, but in reality you parked at Second Galations and First Timothy. What's a good Christian to do? Margaret and I were trying to think up other terms rather than the cumbersome Bible books that would still reflect their core values. I would TOTALLY remember parking areas like 'Love Lane,' 'Peace Promenade,' 'Intolerance Street,' 'Homophobia Avenue,' and 'Blurred-confusion-of-sycophantic-allegiance-to-the-president-and-true-Christian-values Boulevard.'


This weekend, I was a volunteer shuttle driver for an event. I was issued a gigantic SUV that was very cumbersome to drive, yet felt oddly empowering to be sitting so high up above the road. Although in our neighborhood, you about run people off the narrow streets in anything larger than a minivan, so that was quite the experience. Anyway, I got to take the car home overnight, as I had to drive early the next morning, too. So I was driving through town and got to the section of downtown where the lights are synchronized, meaning that if you are driving the speed limit, the lights will be green as you drive down the street. Well, I was going a little over and was coming up on a light that was still red, but could see that the other direction was yellow, so I just kept on rolling, knowing that the light would turn green by the time I reached it. As that's how it turned out, only the automatic traffic light didn't like that one bit and I was treated to a flash from the camera for supposedly running a red light. Oops! Good thing it was a rental and not in my name. (Although if they do come knocking, I'm willing to argue my case, because I really didn't do anything wrong.)

Speaking of automated traffic cameras, that reminds me of some elders in Norway who had gone to a go-cart track on their day off. The day was pretty rainy, and so there weren't any other customers besides themselves. They paid for their 15-minute session, but when the employees all heard that some AMERICANS were driving around and judging our driving skills from movies such as Die Hard, Speed, Days of Thunder, and Fast and the Furious 2: Toyko Drift (okay probably not that one, since it hadn't come out yet), they were all clamoring to drive with them. They ended up driving around for several hours on the track and in the process, getting completely saturated. When they went back to their car to go home, they didn't want to get their seats all wet, so they took off their shirts and sat on plastic bags. Well, on the drive home, a traffic camera snapped their picture for speeding. No big deal, right? Wrong. Missionaries' cars are registered in the mission's name, so the photo of two seemingly naked missionaries speeding down the road went straight to the mission office. I don't know their punishment, but both of them got sent above the arctic circle shortly after that.